SITTER, AND McCASKILL appeared on a panel in early September
hosted by the University, providing listeners with an overview
of the legal and creative issues at stake and their roles in
the case. As audience members joined the dialogue, talk turned
to what the case could mean to future literary and artistic
endeavorsparticularly, as Sitter pointed out, in light
of the pervasive postmodern practice of borrowing from and alluding
to other works.
referential by its very nature, is uniquely adept at exposing
stereotypes and bigotry of all types, McCaskill said, and can
offer humor in the face of hardship. Both McCaskill and Sitter
said they plan to teach The Wind Done Gone in future
English classes; McCaskill said she will teach both books in
her course on multiculturalism and feminism.
Wind Done Gone participates in a long history of African-American
literature as parody, she said. Parody is the language
of oppressed peoples, particularly in America.
is no doubt that the Wind vs. Wind lawsuit and
accompanying publicity is helping Randalls book fly off
the shelves. Sales have continued to be brisk despite decidedly
mixed reviews, most targeting the books erratic languagea
New York Times critic, for instance, called the work a
messy hodgepodge of styles and ambitions.
for many African-American readers, the book lends another dimension
to the flat, stereotypical black characters created by Mitchell.
I hope this book is getting into the hearts and minds
of Americans who have been damaged by Gone With the Wind,
Randall told listeners on her visit to Atlanta. I hope
the people who read my book have the last laugh.
Gone With the Wind sales are up, too. And as Anderson
points out, There is a lot yet to be known about this
other words, the legal wrangling isnt over. The Mitchell
Trusts plan to pursue Wind vs. Wind, and their
ultimate success will hinge on whether they can dismantle Randalls
parody defense. The copyright on Gone With the Wind expires
in 2031, so theres plenty of time for this legal drama
to play itself out before the book becomes part of the public
domain. Today, The Wind Done Gone can be found beside
Gone With the Wind on the shelves of Atlanta bookstores,
but for the heirs to Margaret Mitchells legacy, tomorrow
is another day.